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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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4.1 Replacing phrasal verbs with one-word equivalents

Actions are expressed through words called verbs. In everyday speech, or in less formal written communication, it is common to refer to actions using phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs consist of two words such as go on and find out.

Some phrasal verbs are used in formal texts. Examples of these are:

  • ‘Gains (2013) pointed out that...’

  • ‘The investigation was carried out by means of a questionnaire.’

  • ‘The article puts forward a new theory.’

However, many phrasal verbs are considered informal and are usually replaced with one-word verbs. In the following activity you will practise finding more formal one-word equivalents of informal phrasal verbs.

Activity 9

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Use the one-word formal verbs listed below to replace the informal phrasal verbs used in the sentences below.

  • decreased
  • arrived
  • devised
  • identify
  • increased
  • returned
  • investigate
  • repeated
  • include

1. It is necessary to add in the new information.

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1. include

2. Due to the recession, sales went down.

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2. decreased

3. The immigration rates have gone up recently.

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3. increased

4. The team came up with a good strategy.

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4. devised

5. They turned up late.

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5. arrived

6. It is important to find out the potential problems.

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6. identify

7. The Romans left Britain in 383 and never came back.

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7. returned

8. This essay will look into the effects of global warning.

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8. investigate

9. Experiments are done again to verify the accuracy of the findings.

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9. repeated